Guineas hero Kameko bids to go out in a blaze of glory in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland.
Andrew Balding’s colt has raced over a variety of distances since winning the season’s first Classic at Newmarket – finishing fourth over a mile and a half in the Derby, over a mile in the Sussex at Goodwood and over 10 furlongs in the Juddmonte International at York.
He got back on the winning trail over a mile in the the Group Two Joel Stakes at Newmarket in September – and having since sidestepped the QEII at Ascot on account of the testing conditions, he is set for his swansong this weekend before being retired to stud in 2021.
David Redvers, racing manager for owners Qatar Racing, said: “The horse is in great shape – I’ve seen some lovely photographs of him looking imperial and he’s apparently very well.
“It would be fantastic if he could win a Breeders’ Cup Mile.
“We just have to hope he gets his luck in running and if that is the case, I think we’ll see him at his best.”
Kameko is part of a strong European presence in the race, with Ger Lyons’ Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Siskin also set for the final outing of his racing career following a recent announcement he would stand at stud in Japan.
Colin Keane’s mount appears well placed in stall four – and Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, reports the son of First Defence to have settled in well to his new surroundings.
He said: “The draw is what it is, but certainly we have no complaints.
“The horse has travelled out there and seems in good form.
“He’s coming into it fresh, Ger is very happy with him and we hope the track will suit.”
Aidan O’Brien declared Circus Maximus, Lope Y Fernandez and Order Of Australia in a bid to win the race for a first time, with the latter getting a run following the withdrawal of the William Haggas-trained One Master.
The tough-as-teak Circus Maximus was fourth in last year’s renewal and appears to be the stable’s first string.
O’Brien said: “We think he’s in good form. He’s a tough, hardy, consistent horse who gets a mile well.
“We think and hope the conditions will suit him.”
The raiding party is completed by John Quinn’s Safe Voyage – who has won two Group Twos this season and was last seen finishing a close-up third behind One Master in the Prix de la Foret.
“He’s been training well and we sidestepped the QEII at Ascot because we didn’t want to throw too much at him,” said Quinn.
“At York he was able to dominate, but at ParisLongchamp it was a little bit more tactical and became a test of speed, which caught him out. He was galloping through the line that day, so we were pleased with how he finished.
“Tactically, I think he’ll be able to be comfortable at Keeneland. There will be some very nice horses in the race, but if everything went well, we can dream that he will win – he’s certainly got a chance.”